I’ve been looking over my blog entries for January 1st. It’s amazing how little things have changed in my life over the last several years, when it comes to aspirations for the new year. From 2013:
“Make new mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life. Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
I’m sure I’ll have a list of new (old) goals and resolutions before the day is out. I’m big on fresh starts, turning over a new leaf, beginning again. As a child, I was the one – when things didn’t go as planned – crying, “Let’s start over!” Certainly there are encounters I wish I could re-do. Days that could have been better spent. Hell, there are entire chapters of my life I wish I could over-write! My list, I’m sure, will reflect all of that. More patience, organization, devotion to heath and heart and spirit, more letter writing…less sloth, mindlessness and temper.
For this moment, on this first morning of 2013, though, I want to sit here at peace with myself. I want to embrace this person that I am, with all of my short-comings and all of my flaws. I want to be comfortable with my mistakes, past, present and future. I want to love myself for the flawed, good-hearted being that I am, nothing more. Simple acceptance. May you find it, too!
Here I am, once again, at the desk. This will be my three hundred and sixty-eighth consecutive post. Whew! It has been quite a year. This has been quite a commitment, and one huge accomplishment in my life. I’m pretty proud of myself. Encouraged, too.
Though I try hard to give a different impression, I have always believed myself to be somewhat lazy, and kind of a quitter. Not so negative as it sounds, really, I just tend to have a lot of interests, am kind of scatter-brained, and spread myself way too thin. So, I don’t give things, generally, the time or attention they deserve, I get tired of doing things in a “half-assed” manner, so burn out, give up, or quit.
That wasn’t the case with this writing commitment. My goal was to put out an average of five hundred words a day. I worked at finding subject matter that would engage…me, mostly, so that I could write with honesty and feeling. It was a bonus when my topic struck a chord with others.
My “52 Lists Project” on Sundays, and “Timeout for Art” on Thursdays helped to project me through the week. Beyond those, I tried to stay away from the “cheats” of re-posting an old blog, or of posting just a poem or quote from another writer. I planned ahead for vacations, or times when I might not have access to a computer. I often sat down without a plan and struggled to get something written. At other times, I woke up with something to say, and couldn’t wait to get it down.
Daily writing did become a habit, over the course of the year. It got easier, as time went on. I got better at it, too. I’d like to think my writing skills improved, and maybe they did. Mostly, though, I got pretty good at just sitting down and doing it. The follow through, and successful completion of a commitment, is what I am most pleased with. It opens up a lot of other possibilities. I have more confidence in my ability to set a big goal, and finish it. It’s a good way to start this new year.
In order to give quality time to other things I want to pursue, I won’t be writing every day in 2017. However, I also don’t want to fall back into the “two or three times a week…or when I really feel like it” habit. To keep up the discipline of a writing habit, I’m going to commit to three days a week: Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Thursdays will still be devoted to art, and I’m planning to have new and exciting work to talk about. One day will be devoted to a memoir-writing project that author (and friend) Mary Blocksma is sponsoring. The third day will be devoted to my usual nonsense.
That’s it, though, for reflection, self-congratulation and plans for the future. Now, I want to take the advice of my 2013 self, as I look forward to 2017:
I want to sit here at peace with myself. I want to embrace this person that I am, with all of my short-comings and all of my flaws. I want to be comfortable with my mistakes, past, present and future. I want to love myself for the flawed, good-hearted being that I am, nothing more. Simple acceptance.
Happy New Year!